I usually don’t review music videos (yes I know I have been blogging for a couple months…), but I decided to make an exception this time because Linkin Park’s tried to do something new with “Lost in the Echo”, my favourite track off their new album, Living Things. You can read the review of that album here, https://stefanb33.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/linkin-park-living-things/, but here is an excerpt about the song.
“The album opens with my favourite track, “Lost in the Echo”. I can definitely feel the energy of the first two albums in this track. It reminds me of “Lying From You” and “Faint” from Meteora, but still sounds like something new. I definitely think this song, which will be the upcoming second single, will be a fan favourite, as it combines all the awesome Linkin Park elements – plenty of electronic samples, distorted guitar, Chester Bennington singing and screaming the choruses and Mike Shinoda rapping the verses. I can’t wait to hear this song live.”
In the months since that review I’m still listening to “Lost in the Echo” often, and it may be in my top 2 favourite songs of the year. Here’s a review score for it – 5/5.
What they’ve done with this video is made it interactive. I know you just got excited reading that but I’m afraid it’s not as interactive as you might think. The video takes the form of a website, and it connects with your Facebook (don’t worry it doesn’t post anything to your account without you knowing) to take photos from your account to place in the video as you watch it.
I certainly recommend checking it out at www.lostintheecho.com before reading anymore about it; it’ll only take 4 minutes of your time. Done? Good, here’s my review/interpretation.
It seems to be based in a post-apocalyptic world where some dude carrying a suitcase walks into a damaged abandoned building and opens the suitcase and there are heaps of photos inside. Other survivors who were standing around the area surround him as he passes the photos around. What happens next is up to your interpretation of both the song and video; and I didn’t realise how many different ways there were to interpret it until I started writing this.
First of all, I only understood the actual story a little bit more once I watched the “static” (no Facebook photos) version of the video, which can be watched at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co4YpHTqmfQ&feature=plcp.
Main thing you’ll notice in the static version is that the photos the crying characters are holding are of the family members they are staring at. It wasn’t until I watched this version that I actually realised that the characters holding the photos are real, but the family members they are staring at are not. After looking at the photo, they start breaking down emotionally and make mental images of the lost family members. Then the pain of their long lost ones is so powerful that they crumble into oblivion, and become a photo.
The interesting thing I thought was the role of the dude with the suitcase, and now seems a lot more important than just the guy who hands the photos out. As the other characters crumble after their emotional stress, it looks like the suitcase guy is going to meet the same fate, but he hangs on. The characters that had just been turned into photos get shoved in his suitcase and then he leaves the building, taking those photo memories with him. This leads me to believe that perhaps all those other characters didn’t actually exist either and that he’s related to all of them. Maybe all he has left are those photos of loved ones that he lost during the apocalypse, but as the song says he’s proven he can “let them go”.
While the concept of having your own photos in the video is a very cool concept, it also creates a few problems with the story. The characters holding the photos from your Facebook mean that the other character they are crying at shouldn’t even exist, and make things confusing. Though I suppose it can be argued the static version had to exist for those who couldn’t use the website. The photos from your Facebook that come up are random and are slightly different each time you watch it, and this makes the video either emotional, hilarious or just plain weird. Some of the photos that turn up aren’t actually you. I’ve seen the characters cry to a movie poster I’ve been tagged in, my uni timetable and an ad for a music festival. Some of the photos of you and your friends that do come up don’t fit with the dark tone of the video. Sometimes the photos from the static version make an appearance too, which is really annoying. However, even Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park member) acknowledges the potential hilarity, such as watching the characters cry at a photo of your dinner. If all your photos that get featured bring an emotional response that matches the tone of the video, then you’re lucky; you might have to watch a few times to see what photos come up. Despite all these potential problems with the photos, this video is so vague and open to so many interpretations, it doesn’t really matter what comes up.
The “Lost in the Echo” music video matches the meaning of the best song off Living Things. The Facebook photo concept is not perfect, and even interferes with the emotional story of the video, but that’s not a huge problem as the video is open to many interpretations anyway. Also, it’s a cool idea nonetheless, and I’m not going to mark the video down too much for trying something new. Of course, being a video to such a great song helps too. I would love to see this concept expanded on in future music videos, and I think Linkin Park is a band that could do it.
I give the “Lost in the Echo” video/experience 3.5/5.